Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Mar 3 2021 15:25:05

eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is raising commission fees, but it buried the news in the Spring Seller Update announcement on Wednesday. It's also complicated for sellers to determine exactly how the new fees will impact their bottom line.

A year ago, eBay made a major change to the way it charged sellers enrolled in Managed Payments, melding together commission fees and payment processing fees into a single Final Value Fee.

At the time, eBay executive Brian Burke told sellers that under change to the Managed Payments fee structure, "most sellers can expect to see overall savings."

We explained why it was difficult for sellers to assess if they were one of those who would see a savings or not, and we also noted how easy it would be for eBay to raise commissions after sellers had adjusted to the new fee structure.

Just as we suspected 10 months ago, that day has arrived. 

But nothing about the new fees is easy to digest. First, new fees depend on if the seller is enrolled in Managed Payments or not. Second, it depends on if the seller pays for an eBay Store subscription or not. And third, fees vary by category.

On the page where eBay explains the changes to "Fees & Financials" as part of the Spring Seller Update, it states:

What you need to know:
- We're reinvesting in our platform to create the premier global marketplace
- Zero insertion fee allotments increase when eBay manages your payments
- Final value fee increases for all sellers in select categories
- Promoted Listings Store credit and eBay Top Rated Seller credit retirement
- eBay will require all sellers to register for eBay to manage their payments in 2021
- Selling fees and expenses will be collected from your earnings
- Fast, flexible financing from eBay Seller Capital

And eBay provides more information about fees on this page. (We couldn't find a side-by-side chart of fees by category to help assess the impact of the fee hike.)

eBay attempted to dull the pain of higher fees by offering more free listings for those enrolled in Managed Payments: "We're increasing zero insertion fee allotments when eBay manages your payments, which means you can list more of your inventory on eBay for free."

It's important to point out that the fee hike means eBay is charging more on shipping costs and on state sales tax, a practice to which many sellers object. (Sellers understand the rationale for paying *payment-processing* fees on the total transaction amount, but it is not industry-standard to charge sellers a *commission* fee on shipping and sales tax. As we've noted before, we're not even sure if it's legal for eBay to charge a commission on sales tax it collects from buyers on behalf of states - note the word commission, not payment-processing fee.) 

With more states instituting sales tax, shipping costs going up, and higher costs caused by claims from ever-more-frequent shipping backlogs, the impact of eBay's fee hike may hit harder than before.

Another change introduced in the 2021 eBay Spring Seller Update: no more credits for sellers to put towards Promoted Listing ads. eBay had offered a quarterly $25 Promoted Listings Store credit and a quarterly $30 eBay Top Rated Seller credit, however, it announced today:

"Starting April 1, 2021, we'll retire our existing Promoted Listings promotional credits." 

It's time for sellers to break out their calculators and spreadsheets and assess the damage.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: pcc7407 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 16:41:29 2021

Everything about this is HORRIBLE. Fees raised. Taxing the tax. Taxing the shipping. Taxing the tax on the tax on the shipping. (I made that up, but they would do it if they could). Ending the "Top Rated Seller" fee discount. The meaningless "increase in number of free listings" propaganda they have always used as smoke and mirrors. This week eBay has made my head spin. I had to call "customer service" about an impatient customer because of USPS failure. 35 minutes wasted while someone who couldn't understand the simple issue tried to figure it out! (It did get there, of course). 1st class package Virginia to California 18 days. About 4 different ridiculous problems this week! eBay is just plain Orwellian, and absolute corporate greed.  

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 17:09:01 2021

Its all eBay knows how to do ... raise fees

Its not like they actually did anything positive (this time or any other time) to "deserve" the fee increases - its just another blatant money grab.

Seeking Alpha and the other eBay cheerleaders will scream YAY, while eBay sellers who get ripped off by the San Jose Mafia will once again loose.

Besides leaving there isnt much you can do. If you cant sell your goods on Amazon or Poshmark etc - then theres no other choice - and eBay knows it.

You are in MP and you are screwed ... Wheres Pocohantes when you REALLY need her?

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 17:29:54 2021

ebay has figured out to easiest way to cull the bloat is a fee increase. etsy figured it out last year and its just a simple you wanna play you'll have to pay...  

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 17:52:42 2021

No surprise there.
As ebay executives become more heinous, and treat the site like they are platform slumlords, sellers leave.
They end up raising fees (again) when their outrageous ideas don't meet their revenue projections.

Totally clueless because they are totally careless.
To think that these leeches have any concept of business is entirely the wrong idea.
They are behaving more like promoters or agents (terrible ones) to conjure up ways to bring buyers to sellers' listings.  And as younger generations have put it,
they are Epic Failures!

How can this not be considered internal sabotage?
They obviously have no interest in building the site in a ''vertical'' direction. Unless their direction is downward.  All they have done is lost sellers and taken away more perks and features.  

But that wont change their idea that they think they deserve to be paid for it.
It's almost McConnell-esque to assume that the people who finance the organization don't deserve more money.
All while they are rolling around in a swimming pool of cash.

It's very ungrateful of them and incredibly insulting.
The next best thing is to list worthless junk for little to nothing so they don't even get the commission they expect.
Bleed them out slowly, or quickly, it doesn't matter as long as they keep on missing their bottom line.

Those bottom feeders will have nothing but to drink the nasty water from the trash can...
and that is still plenty more than they deserve.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: Rooster Corburn This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 18:35:30 2021

The one aspect of selling that eBay has never addressed with Managed Payments is local pickup. When a buyer and seller get together via local pickup does eBay refund the seller the portion of the new Simplified FVF that is meant to cover payment processing, when cash is tendered by the buyer?

Or is the seller now expected to pay the whole new Simplified FVF which includes fees for payment processing services that are not required with local pickup style transactions when cash is tendered?

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 3 19:15:02 2021

Did anyone think they wouldn't?Greed drives this company. Their Spring updates are like the slaughter of the spring lambs. Callous and unfeeling. They don't give a damn about sellers. ALWAYS look at what they do and not what they say.

Sales on eBay are so pathetic who really cares.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 19:48:15 2021

Soon, all the sellers who stay with eBay are the ones who get to sell sneakers for free.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Mar 3 20:00:25 2021

"We're reinvesting in our platform to create the premier global marketplace."

Since when has eBay expended any money to fix all the issues with their platform? And I'm amazed they didn't scream, "Lowest fees ever!" like they did for one up-date when it was a blatant fee increase.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Mar 3 20:13:22 2021

eBay is stuck in a Ground Hog Day program.

They raise fees to pay countless over paid executives who proceed to accomplish nothing that increases sales.

Sellers who become frustrated with higher fees, more busy work, and declining sales so they abandon the marketplace.  If a sufficient number of sellers leave, the expected revenue eBay anticipated with their fee increase never materializes.

eBay then changes management, and new management brings in more executives who will be overly compensated which drives the need for more fee increases which in turn alienates alienates additional sellers who then leave.

The lather, rinse and repeat cycles will continue until the marketplace is unable to bleed anymore out of their sellers. which will mean eBay is no longer a viable operation.  

If you are still selling on eBay you are putting your business at risk of destruction when the eBay house of cards finally collapses, and with every round of seller changes and fee increases, eBay gets closer to that point of no return.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 20:28:12 2021

"We’re reinvesting in our marketplace to help drive your sales velocity"

They have yet to fix the know glitches from 2008! Make a stable selling platform first, before you try to do anything else, idiots.

"We’re continually enhancing the seller experience. Since we introduced the option for sellers to have eBay manage their payments"

Wait, Mangle Payments is an option? How do I opt out eBay?

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 3 20:40:35 2021

--We're reinvesting in our platform to create the premier global marketplace

Purchasing many more miles of duct tape and spit I guess.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: DogPatch This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 22:02:41 2021

Death spiral.
I've had an eBay account since 1998. I was fascinated by the initial idea of eBay and have bought and sold on its platform for over two decades.  EBay's success has been a marvel.  But like many other "success stories" it has lost its way.  I'd  venture to say that today eBay has a cadre of accountants and lawyers and their influence has created the current climate.  I wonder if any of them have ever tried selling anything ... whether on eBay or some other platform?  I think the tipping point has been reached and eBay may lose its prominence.  Can't happen, you may say, but at one time Sears was the largest employer in the United States.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 3 23:51:26 2021

@ postbuster

"Those bottom feeders will have nothing but to drink the nasty water from the trash can...
and that is still plenty more than they deserve."

Are you talking about the trash can at Walker's West or what? Hahahahaha!

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Mar 4 00:15:08 2021

When states found that they could take a slice out of the online revenue pie, eBay responded by stretching Final Value Fees to include sales tax, keeping their slice the same size. The net result is that 100% of the revenue loss from sales tax is now passed on to sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Thu Mar 4 00:15:52 2021

Increases in seller fee percentages cannot be sustained. Take a close look at what happened to public transit after the automobile started dominating the streets. What is to stop sellers from moving to personal web sites with simple setup software and entities like Google to manage search?

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 00:19:37 2021

Commission on tax collected isn't going to wash. Some class action lawyer is salvating while the damages increase to a level where he can make a buck or 3.

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 06:18:42 2021

They already get a commission on sales tax. Paid by the local jurisdiction.

I doubt that is legal.

Whats with "higher fee on shipping"

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 09:17:15 2021

""most sellers can expect to see overall savings."

On what planet exactly?

On eBay theres NEVER a savings of anything.

And yes, try to OPT OUT of the "OPTION" on Managed Payments .. you cant do it.

Shame all the big shot lawyers what take eBay on in court on it ......

But eBay lieing about it being an OPTION is like EVERY other eBay lie - seller protection etc

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Thu Mar 4 11:21:47 2021

I'd like to know what's pushing their stock down at such an alarming rate? $10 in a week? Who's caught on?

Perminate Link for eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated   eBay Raises Fees - It's Complicated

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 4 13:48:46 2021

well at least with the update, those who remain on fleecebay will not have to chase the trs 5% carrot anymore

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